Artificial Intelligence has been around for quite some time now. Many industries have been using it in one form or another And most of us don’t even really know that we’re using AI. Google, however, is bringing it to the forefront. And, it kind of is, already. But they’re really going to start bringing it. During the Google I/O Conference this week, Google made several announcements outlining where it’s going to be. And it’s going to be everywhere. It was all over the keynote. With the intention that Google is going to be “AI first”. I wrote a couple of posts this week about some of their more interesting initiatives, but they’re right. AI is involved with all of it.
So what does this mean? Well, I think it means that it’s going to be easier for us to do things. Maybe that’s simplified, but when you get down to it, what else is AI doing? For example, cities use AI to identify infrastructure issues. A vehicle can be equipped with a camera that will automatically detect a pothole for example. This makes people’s lives a bit easier. And I would also add, more efficient. If we take that line of thinking and apply it to what Google is doing, the reach of AI could be endless. Google has it’s fingers in a lot of different pots.
But, the pothole identifying version of AI isn’t what people want. Or at least not most consumers. … Read the rest
Google Makes Improvements to Photos – Should Apple be Worried?
Move over iOS Photos, there’s a new kid in town. Well, maybe not new, but certainly much improved. Google announced yesterday that they have over half a billion users uploading photos every day. Every single day. Which means it’s time for an improved version of the app. Part of that update is Google Lens, which I talked about in yesterday’s post. But that’s not going to be ready for a little while. So sit tight, but in the mean time, here are some cool new enhancements to Google Photos.
If your photo is if your good friend Thomas, Google Photos will suggest that you share the photo with him. And even anyone else that might know him or want to see the photo. This is really neat as it’s using machine learning to identify Thomas, and then determine what to do with that photo. Google has been making strides in the AI arena in order to identify objects – such as mountains. But this is taking it to the next level.
Now you can share an entire library with a group of people. I might suggest this to my sister in law for photos of my nephew. She often sends a ton via email, which is nice to get, but this would be easier. I would like to point out that this can be done through iCloud sharing now. The one difference is, with Google Shared Libraries, the photo stays in your camera roll as well.… Read the rest
Here’s What Was Announced at the Google I/O Conference Today
There were a lot of announcements at the Google I/O Conference today. Almost too many to put in just one post. But I will highlight some of the more interesting ones to start. Or at least more interesting in my opinion. First of all, it is estimated that there are 2 billion android devices being used world wide. Two billion! That is almost 1/3 of the world’s population. Which is insane. It is almost 3 times that of the number of iPhone users, which is only at 700 million. That in itself is incredible. Which means there is a huge market to be tapped. So bring it on Google.
Let’s start with Google Home. So far, it’s just been able to give you answers to questions that you ask. I’m not trying to downplay this at all. That in itself is incredible. Not just from the perspective of Google Home, but in general. What’s really interesting about the next version is that the device is going to be more proactive. Meaning, if there is a traffic jam on your regularly route to work, it will let you know. Presumably, this would work for public transit delays and maybe some weather related events. All and all, this is pretty amazing. I wonder what else it could do? Maybe predict my mood swings? Just kidding. I am interested to see what kinds of things this ends up being able to predict.
Google is always up to something. And I mean that in a positive way. What now, you ask? Well, they have teamed up with Raspberry Pi in order to build a Google Home/Alexa alternative. Which sounds pretty neat. I remember when I first saw Raspberry Pi, maybe 5 years ago, I was immediately wondering what it could do. I am by no means a computer expert, but my mind went nuts around this tiny machine’s capabilities. With this partnership, it makes you wonder what else is possible?
How does it work? Well, essentially you have to purchase a pack which contains a Voice HAT Board with a speaker and microphone. Allowing you to create your own voice integration system. Building your own voice integration system in itself is pretty cool, but there is a larger concept at play here that I would like to explore. And that’s the concept of “do it yourself” artificial intelligence. Or AIY as it’s being referred to. And what exactly does that mean for the future of artificial intelligence? And specifically, what other kinds of things could we make ourselves?
One of the more common concepts of artificial intelligence is the ability to interact with a machine, in order to get information. We see this with Google Home or Alexa integration into the Amazon devices. So giving people the ability to build their own home integration systems is extremely forward thinking. Sure, it doesn’t look nearly as cool as the devices made by Google and Amazon, but does it need to? … Read the rest
What You Can Expect from the Google I/O 2017 Conference
Last year we did a GOOGLE I/O 2016 : COMPLETE RECAP WITH VIDEO and it was well received. So this year we thought we would give a preview. What can you expect from the Google I/O conference this year? Well… maybe not much. I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for that statement. Rubens Saintel actually is looking forward to the event and can’t wait to do a write up of the event but I’m just not really seeing it. The big three are: Android O, Google Assistant everywhere, and a stand alone virtual reality headset. Maybe I am on the cynical side, or maybe I have high expectations, but I’m just not feeling that this is all that big. Don’t take this as me hating on Google. In fact, I love almost everything Google does. But I’m struggling to see how this is so huge.
But let’s start with Android O. The developer version has been released, so you can see what Google has been doing with the platform for the last year. And also what to expect when it’s released. According to a post on androidcentral.com, they anticipate that the Android O will be released along side a Pixel 2. But that’s not what we’re hearing from Google. Or at least not at the conference in May because it is a developer conference, which means they typically don’t announce devices. But maybe in the fall? The platform itself is getting a lot of visual changes, like dynamic icons and a refresh from the old quick settings menu. … Read the rest
#ICYMI You Samsung Galaxy S8 Owners Out there Can Upload 100,000 Songs for Free to Google Play
Google just announced that it will be the default music play for the Samsung Galaxy S8. Which is great news for both Samsung and Galaxy owners. Why is this great news? Well, consumers want to be able to use apps and services that they know and are used to. Who wants to use a generic music service that no one has ever heard of? Samsung needs to make sure that it has these capabilities in order to keep customers, and ultimately draw new ones. I’ve said it before, and I will likely say it again, but you have to give the people what they want.
And that is exactly what Samsung is doing. Not only are they giving users Google Play Music, they are also giving users 100,000 songs for free. But there is one small catch. You have to be a new user. Too bad for those who already use the service. But let’s get back to the number of songs. Who has or even wants access to that many songs? I’m a bit envious as my iPhone has some storage issues, and I can only handle about 20 songs at a time. That doesn’t include cloud access. But, if I was really interested in listening to music, I would definitely consider this phone as an option for my upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, but I have found ways around my storage issues.
The downside to that is you have to be new to the service. … Read the rest
Over the last couple of years, I have inherited a ton of old family photos. Some are ancient, and others are from my day. What I end up with is a mix of photos – black and white, different sizes (think from 3″ x 5″ to 8″x 10″). Making it next to impossible to scan then. Several years ago, I invested in a scanner in an attempt to tackle the beast. To put it into perspective, I probably have close to 2000 photos in my house. Scanning was time-consuming and quite cumbersome. More recently, I sourced out some of the scanning. Which is absolutely an option when you have that many photos, but what if you only have a few? Or what if you can’t afford to source out the scanning?
I recently discovered the Google PhotoScan app. I used this when I needed to only scan a handful of images for a particular purpose. I found it easy to use – except for one or two challenges. I have an iPhone so I was able to easily save my images into the cloud and retrieve them at a later date. It produced a really good quality image, considering the technology I was using. But like I said – one or two issues. The first issue I had was around the focus dots. From time to time, the focus dot would be way off the picture. Sometimes on my table, or whatever surface I was using. … Read the rest